Before the pandemic hit, it would have been hard to imagine working for a company where you hadn’t actually met the person hiring you. Now though, this process has become the norm, so much so that oftentimes you forget your colleagues are more than just a floating head and shoulders - but should it be a temporary shift, or should this new way of working (and hiring) carry on after the pandemic is long gone?
If you’re familiar with us, you’ll know that we like to present the hybrid working model as a bit of a cure-all - but in our defence, it kind of is. Affording your employees the choice of where they work as opposed to forcing them to attend a head office, means that your recruitment processes no longer need to be limited by geographical location. In other words, the talent pool just got an Olympic level upgrade.
Though we normally associate remote teams with start-ups, there are plenty of larger firms who have had success with unusual work models. Johnny Boufarhat, CEO of Hopin, an online conference hosting platform currently valued over £4bn, employs over 650 people around the world but has only met a handful in person.
"Being a fully-remote company allows us to do things that other companies haven't been able to do before," he explained to the BBC in a recent instalment of their CEO Secrets series. "Also, remote working has allowed us to hire from a global talent pool," he adds, "which is necessary when you are growing so fast."
While many employers may be reluctant to hire globally, giving staff more choice about when and how they work has actually been shown to enhance productivity. In a study conducted by Raj Choudhury (and co-authors Cirrus Foroughi and Barbara Larson), a leading expert in the field of working-from-anywhere, his team found there to be a 4.4% increase in productivity when employees at a Patent Office in Washington DC were given more flexibility.
“So the 4.4 percent is measured based on the average number of actions, as they call it, which is essentially case files that the examiner examines every month. So it’s very objective,” he said on a recent episode of the Freakonomics podcast.
The hybrid model could also be the answer to ensuring socialisation isn’t impacted. In another study done by Choudhury, his team engineered ‘virtual water coolers’, i.e. situations where employees at different levels could have random interactions, and the results were extremely positive. In fact, they suggested that not having an office boosted socialisation, as employees were no longer limited by physical barriers such as working on a different floor - overall, it was found that these virtual water cooler chats boosted work performance, and increased chances of being a full-time job (when conducted using interns).
If all of this is sounding good, you might be thinking about how to apply it to your own company, or perhaps bring it up at work. Luckily, Narau is here to make that step as easy as possible.
While it seems Hopin have opted for more of a WFH model, such a set-up isn’t always ideal as many of us don’t have suitable workspaces at home (for example, only 7.5% of 18-24 year olds have a home office according to a recent Savills survey). With Narau, you can add a ‘third workplace’ into the mix, as our app connects employees to nearly 400 (and counting) fully equipped flexible desk space and meeting rooms across the country - we’re also rapidly expanding abroad, with our first international space recently being added in Budapest.
And the best part is, it’s all pay-as-you-go, making our platform cheaper than other similar subscription based services - leaving you free to invest in other areas of your business.